Former Hollywood Star Dies With the Glitter and Shine She Loved
By Fiona Greer
Weird Wisconsin reporter
Lina Larson, 83, a Hollywood glamour gal in the late 1940s whose stamina recently stunned a local dance troupe, died suddenly Tuesday night at her Eau Claire home.
Until a few days ago, Larson had been rehearsing with the members of Eau Claire Swing Time in preparation for a return to the spotlight at the Marriott Hotel’s New Year’s Eve gala, said Martin “Benny G” Moore, the troupe’s leader.
“She was amazing – could outlast us all. Real old Hollywood,” Moore said.
Larson’s body was found in the modest home at 324 Maple Street where she had lived since returning to her native state in 2000. Her body was discovered there surrounded by tinsel, garland, Christmas ornaments from the city’s outdoor tree, and sparkling jewelry from various Eau Claire stores, by the Third Eye Detective Agency of Chippewa Falls. The detectives had been investigating the disappearance of the ornaments and jewelry and had traced them to Larson’s home, said Neava Maskelyne, spokesperson for the agency.
“Lina really loved shiny stuff – she was almost obsessed with it,” Moore said. “She kept borrowing costumes with sequins, even dresses that didn’t fit her, and we had trouble getting her to bring them back. I figured that’s why we hadn’t seen her at practice the past few days.”
Larson’s love of things that were shiny may have also extended to her diet. According to the Eau Claire Police Department, Larson had been keeping live fish in her bathtub until she ate them, possibly raw. A large number of small bones, thought to be from fish, were also found scattered around the home.
The police said they expect the increase in thefts of Christmas ornaments and jewelry will end with Larson’s death.